Little Lady’s Breakfast Cake

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Our oven has been broken for months now so the microwave has been used daily, unfortunately, but thankfully i have a mother who loves to leave boxes of things for me, usually cook books. One of these books was Peta’s Vegan College Cookbook (the link is to the new updated version on their catalogue website). It was amazing to find a cookbook where all you need is a microwave and you can buy everything in a local store. For when we’re in a tight squeeze for something to eat for dinner, this is now my bible in the kitchen.

In the book there is a recipe for a banana cake, which my children quickly feel in love with not just for the taste but because it is a recipe they can do from scratch. Only one issue, the portion was too small for the four of us, and doubling the quantities didn’t quite work, so we used it as inspiration to create our own. This is my daughter’s breakfast cake, because banana’s = breakfast, so why not add a little milk and flour to make a cake? She is very proud of this recipe and we love the excuse for cake for breakfast too.

We used silicone ramekin dishes to cook individual sponges, but if other microwave cake recipes are anything to go by, you should be able to cook this in a single cake mould just fine.

 

INGREDIENTS

2-3 mashed bananas (great way to use up bananas that are too ripe)

1/3 cup butter

1/3 brown sugar

3 tablespoons soya/coconut milk

1 tablespoon of flaxseed/meal

1/3 cup self-raising flour

optional; 1/2 teaspoon ginger or cinnamon for added health benefits, especially in the winter.

 

HOW TO

Cream together the butter and sugar.

Mash up the bananas, and add the flaxseed.

Mix the banana mash into the buttercream.

Slowly add the flour until combined.

Divide the mixture equally between dishes.

Microwave for two minutes twice, then 30-60 seconds until a knife comes out clean. Rotate the dishes at each interval to cook evenly.

Turn them out (careful they’ll be very hot) and enjoy with a scoop of ice cream (coconut ice cream could count for breakfast too, right?) or fresh fruit.

The more banana used the more fruity, mushy the sponge; the more flour the more sponge-cake it will be. Either way it’s delicious.

Thank you Little Lady.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

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Ragi Flour Flat Cakes

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A while ago I went to a friend’s house, the little ones were playing and making biscuits, and my friend brought out a bag of Raggi flour. I’d never heard of it but the biscuits were delicious, my friend mentioned the health benefits, I mentioned my health problems and she gave me a bag to experiment with.

Ragi flour goes by many different names; Ragi/Raggi flour, finger millet, African millet, Red millet, Nachani/Nachni (Read more here), and comes with many benefits, specifically for blood (yay!).

A great source of protein, amino acids, minerals (including calcium, iron, phosphorus) and various vitamin B. Suggested as a weight loss aid as it is a complete whole protein, and those with low haemoglobin/anaemia, also lowers the risk of diabetes and cholesterol. Read more on the health benefits

Surprising bonuses are the growing conditions; millet can survive severe droughts, and pests aren’t overly attracted to the plant, naturally minimising the need for chemicals/fertilisers.

The main serving suggestions are porridge (also recommended for weaning babies), pancakes, dumplings and flatbreads.

The other day I had a bad turn and decided to make some “healthy” biscuits. The result wasn’t a biscuit as I wanted, but the softest cake crumb I have ever eaten, hence “flat cake” over biscuit. The taste needs a tweak, but I now have a jar of iron and sugar boost “flat cakes”.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Raggi flour
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  •  1 teaspoon Monin caramel syrup

 

How To

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C and line a baking tray, if not non-stick
  2. Mix all the ingredients together. Add more of what you think the mix needs as the taste doesn’t change after cooking, maybe a little less sweeter
  3. Drop tablespoons of the mix onto the tray and smooth over. The biscuits don’t spread, but they do form a thick outer and could burn easily
  4. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until the tops start to bounce back
  5. Leave to cool
  6. Move to a rack
  7. Enjoy! Coconut water or green tea accompany these well.

 

 

 

Sleepless in Seattle

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I have a confession, I had never seen Sleepless in Seattle, until May 1st this year and I’m kind of glad, as I don’t think I would have appreciated it back in the 90s or even a decade ago.

The recipe is so basic, but it hits the spot when you need a little faith in romance. A widowed father and a woman who wants to be thrilled fall in love.

10 year old son, Jonah, calls into a late night radio station (named Sleepless in Seattle) saying his father is sad and needs to find a wife. The father (Tom Hanks) then reveals his feelings for all the insomniac unloved ladies to hear and as a result is inundated with offers to console him. Leading him to meet a perfectly lovely lady, Victoria. Unfortunately Jonah isn’t a fan, his favourite letter is from Annie and he believes she should be his mummy.

On the other side of the continent, there is a journalist (Meg Ryan) who happens to tune into Sleepless in Seattle on the radio, whilst driving to meet her fiancé so they can spend Christmas with his family. She, like many, loves how this man met his wife, how he just knew, and something sparks in her. Her fiancé is almost too perfect (with the exception of him being allergic to everything); they finish each others sentences, always thinking the same thing, they have night time rituals; there are no surprises. On a whim, she puts all her feelings into a letter to this stranger, arranging to meet Valentine’s Day at the top of the Empire State building; a letter no one was suppose to see, let alone the person it was written to. Of course the letter is sent.

Jonah is determined, so determined Annie is meant for his father, he hops on a plane to New York the morning his father is suppose to be going away to spend Valentine’s day with his girlfriend.

You can guess what happens next.

“I don’t want to be someone that you’re settling for. I don’t want to be someone that anyone settles for” is my favourite quote from the fiancé after he has adjusted his mother’s engagement ring to fit Annie, and she’s confessed to arranging to meet another man that night. Possibly my new (hypothetical) lonely hearts ad.

Available on Netflix or buy the DVD cheap on Amazon. It’s great to chill out. No thinking involved, the soundtrack is wonderful and some great parenting moments.

DNA Kit

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Something fun happened! My wonderful Grandmother bought me a DNA kit from 23andMe as a Christmas present, and (finally!) this week I received my results.

I have nothing to do with my father’s side and many health issues which are said to hereditary, my mother’s paternal side had enough problems and very little knowledge of any other issues on his side of the family, so it’s nice to have a better idea of things.

You can find out Health factors; possible drug responses, alcohol reaction, caffeine reaction, predicted “risky” disease genes (very careful not to full into confirming these genes, just predicted risk).

Also ancestry. I’ve confirmed Scandinavian heritage, Finnish, French, German, and 57.7% British Irish, which has me all excited to find out more about my family line. Who made the moves from country-to-country?

Plus, funny little traits such as eye colour, hair colour and whether it’s curly or straight.

You can also do the reverse and predict DNA results for offspring (providing the parents are both on there).

The best feature has to be being able to compare results with family members. All you need is one other to compare with and you find so many answers. You can also compare with other members and choose how much you share with the other members or just family.

Good thing it’s a “one-off” kind of gift, because it can take weeks for the results, and full price is £149, but there are often discounts and these make great gifts, so if you’re looking for wedding gifts, extra special birthday present, or to get to know yourself more, this would probably be in the “Ultimate” category.

At the moment they also offer an Amazon gift card for referring family and friends as another incentive. It’s amazing stuff!

The Power of Visualisation

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Awhile ago I attended an online workshop, hoping to help motivate me with my business, again. The wonderful Carrie Green (author of She Means Business) shared the simplest visualisation technique, which proves how visualising your goal can manifest into a physical action.

This is fantastic!

  • Stand up straight, feet together
  • Stretch an arm straight out in front, point with your finger and close your eyes
  • Without moving your feet, keeping your arm straight and level, twist at the waist and see the farthest point you can reach around
  • Open your eyes to see where your pointing to
  • Now back to the front
  • Without moving, visualise yourself turning 360 around
  • Now twist at the waist again and see how far you can reach
  • Open your eyes

Isn’t that amazing?

That, for me, really helped give me a kick up the backside to move forward with my business.

Thank you Carrie Green for that.

If you’re woman working on a business plan, already in business, or leaving education and not sure what to do, I highly recommend She Mean Business. The book is brilliant, but the people you meet through the Facebook group are amazing. There is always someone who can help you with a query, and you’ll surprise yourself with the information you can share from experience.

Have fun!

Gilberts Syndrome and Looking After Your Liver

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What is Gilberts Syndrome? It is a very common genetic disorder, which is believed to effect 1 in 20, but only 1 in 3 are aware they have it. It isn’t something that is tested for; for instance, I was diagnosed after my doctor sent me for numerous blood tests and the only thing “wrong” (aside from anaemia and haemophilia) was my bilirubin count being too high.

Gilberts syndrome is when the liver doesn’t breakdown the bilirubin (old blood) into bile. It causes pretty common symptoms; jaundice (yellowing of the skin), nausea, fatigue, loss of appetite, abdominal pain and swelling…you get the idea; lots of vague things that happen to people every day which can be brushed off as stressed. I hadn’t felt right for most of last year, writing things off as stress; raising two children, being away from friends and family, starting a business, losing a family member. I thought I was looking after myself the best I could, already being aware of anaemia and haemophilia and various other issues. Most parents are guilty of putting little ones needs before their own a bit too often, and of course I still do, but I ensure I get that time to myself and the little bits which help the day to day, so I can be a better parent to my little ones.

There’s no monitoring for Gilberts, leaving it down to you to look after your blood and body.

The liver is the third quickest regenerating organ in the body at approximately 6 weeks; after stomach lining (approx. 4 days), epidermis (outer skin layer – approx. 35 days), and just before the brain (approx. 2 months), and can repair itself from just 25%; when something is wrong, you cannot ignore it.

Stay off alcohol, gluten and dairy. We all know the damage alcohol can do (in so many ways), the liver struggles to breakdown gluten, calcium interferes with iron absorption so cut back and find alternatives. With the ever growing number of dairy alternatives and gluten free options, it’s a case of switching the products you buy (Waitrose gluten free fusilli is a family favourite at the moment). Alcohol alternatives I can’t help with as I was only drinking a small bottle of wine a couple of times a year, and use Jägermeister or Disaronno for cooking.

Helpful Things So Far

Floradix has been amazing. I hate taking pills and supplements, preferring natural resistance through diet etc., but sometimes you need a little help. Floradix is now always in the fridge and I take it regularly, only taking half of what they recommend and not doubling up if I happen to miss a day. Pick up the No Gluten, No Yeast option, the packaging is identical so double check the labelling; it does say on the front and is the same price.

Spinach and all leafy greens are great. My family have been so accepting of Mummy’s new love for spinach. I put it in everything. Fresh is unfortunately hard to come by so we always have frozen and looking to grow our own.

Partially hydrated apricots; if fresh aren’t available they’re a good alternative, and you only need a couple at a time to gain the benefits.

Blueberries (of course) are brilliant all round.

Good green tea; you only need a cup or two a week. Always buy a trusted brand or recommended from a reliable source. Green tea is one of those items where if the price seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Stay hydrated! You don’t need gallons just a glass instead of or along with your usual preference. One thing I have fallen in love with is off the boil water with lemon. I haven’t liked lemon for years but lemon water has helped, first thing in the morning, with a mix of powders to help all the things wrong with my body.

Up vitamin C. Vitamin C helps with iron absorption, so eat lots of orange things; oranges, clementine, apricots, carrots.

I’ll post some recipes which suit all the family members, and more info as I discover it.

Hope this can be of help to someone.

 

 

PitRok

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Now listed on Miss Frances EBay store men’s spray, natural spray and roll on.

Wash underarms first thing is the morning, apply the roll on/spray and dress. They all dry in seconds and no need to top up during the day (maybe once in summer); coming from someone who perspires terribly due to anxiety issues, I feel confident I won’t offend anyone who stands too close. I also have trouble with allergies making it difficult to find anything that won’t upset the sensitive skin.

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The natural spray feels very watery, but  is a very refreshing, fragrance free, basic atomiser. In hot weather I do like to keep this in my bag, in case of major back sweat I suffer with in the heat. My children like to use this too and I don’t have to worry about chemicals upsetting their young skin.

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The roll on is my personal favourite. Very lightly fragranced. I’ve been using it for years, going through 2-3 over a 12 month period (used twice a day, every day) and I am absolutely terrified of nasty BO. Plus the 50ml fits perfectly into a bag.

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The men’s spray smells very manly. I tried it myself to give an honest opinion and it works just as the others. If a woman finds herself needing a little protection under the arms then you could do worse. The scent does compliment a snuggly hug from a lovely man.

PitRok is a great go-to brand for those who are making the switch to animal free, non-animal tested products lifestyle.

Enjoy!

 

Miss Frances Limited Website

After months Miss Frances Limited website is “live”! YAY! Very muddled, not nearly as organised as I would like, but I liken it to Frankenstein’s monster.

missfranceslimited.co.uk

FYI if you have your domain name with a different company to your web host, you need to change the nameservers to ensure the website can be viewed. It took me hours to figure it out, but Hostgator (my webhost) came through and gave me everything I needed.

If you’re looking to set up a website, hunt around for deals, take recommendations. These aren’t cheap, and if you’re umming and arring, not getting any sound advice, you don’t want end up spending hundreds on something you don’t know how to use or in anyway unhappy with. If you can, wait for Christmas to come around; everyone goes nuts for deals and I managed to get my web host package for half the usual price, obviously this isn’t help at the beginning of a new year but just something to keep in mind.

Biggest help for me? My Shaw Academy tutor showed us the most effective way to find web hosts; search “best web hosts”. It really is that simple. You then have a list of companies to investigate, if nothing jumps out or your overwhelmed, ask around. Someone you know will have been through the process, failing that try a social media group. There’s a scary amount of “entrepreneurs” but you should find a group to suit you.

I recently joined two for Female Entrepreneurs on Facebook. One has been more of an inspiration page (all they do is post memes), the other is a closed group as part of a book release, She Means Business by Carrie Green. Already I’ve met someone who lives down the road and connected with other mum’s from all over the globe.

Now finalising the EBay store and uploading the rest of my alter ego to the web. Wish me luck!

 

Friday Feeling- just a random post

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Lots of good things happening at the moment, this week has been particularly lucky (wonderful feeling after a horrible few months), but I wanted to share a song that pops into my head every Friday. Why? I have no idea, it just happens that every Friday morning, for the last month or so, I have awoken up singing this particular song…Nat King Cole’s L-O-V-E.

My music taste varies greatly, the types I play the most are metal and rock (Black Veil Brides, Halestorm, Theory of a Deadman, Rob Zombie), then wonderful oldies such as Dusty Springfield, Doris Day and Nat King Cole. Anyone who follows me on Twitter (@MissFrancesLtd) or Instagram will be able to see that, and yes, shameless linking (you will find out more in the next few weeks).

Anyone who has an interest in mythology, deities etc will know that Friday is the day of Venus, the Roman Goddess of love, and so Friday is considered in some circles, as the day for music, the arts and love. I can’t help but feel a little thrill with that thought.

As it happens, it was on Fridays I felt I was pregnant with each of my babies, pregnancy tests on Saturday mornings confirmed them. Strange how things happen.

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend. 

L is for the way you look at me,
O is for the one I see,
V is very, very extraordinary,
E is even more than anyone that you adore and,

Love is all that I can give to you,
Love is more than just a game for two,
Two in love can make it,
Take my heart and please don’t break it,
Love was made for me and you.